NEWS 2017: Joel’s Award


Greenville’s Sprague Earns High Honor from ASTM International

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — ASTM International’s Committee D35 on Geosynthetics presented its top annual award – the Award of Merit – to C. Joel Sprague, of TRI/Environmental, Greenville, South Carolina. The prestigious award, which includes the accompanying title of fellow, is ASTM’s highest recognition for individual contributions to the development of standards.

Geosynthetics were the only new major class of construction materials developed in the 20th century. Over the past 50 years, they have helped make many infrastructure projects possible while lowering the cost and environmental impact of other projects. Additionally, geosynthetics enabled many US textile companies to diversify production to include materials such as geotextiles and geogrids. The innovation came at a time when more traditional textile production was migrating to low-cost, overseas producers, so the development and standardization of geosynthetics saved domestic jobs. Some of the key sectors in which geosynthetics are utilized include waste management, road and bridge construction, environmental remediation, and water resource conservation.

Sprague was recognized for outstanding contributions to Committee D35, which develops standards for the geosynthetics field, and for contributions to the geosynthetics industry in general. He was honored for his work in standards development, manufacturing audit protocols, and the harmonization of testing standards, which includes international cross-border harmonization.

Sprague has been a member of ASTM International since 1986. The Award of Merit is the fourth award he has received from the international standards body across work on three committees. His work has overseen the initial standardization of or major revision to 19 standards, and he has coordinated inter-laboratory studies for seven test methods.

Sprague is senior engineer and southeast region manager with TRI/Environmental. He previously held positions with Sprague & Sprague Consulting Engineers, Nicolon Corp., Hoechst Celanese Corp., and Duke Power Co.

In addition to ASTM International, Sprague is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Geo-Institute, IGS North America, the International Geosynthetics Society, and the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Learn more about ASTM International’s work at and TRI/Environmental at and


Media Inquiries:

ASTM: Dan Bergels, +1 610 832 9602,

TRI: Sam Allen, +1 512 263 2101,; Joel Sprague, +1 864 346 3107,

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